Robert W. Morgan, a radio institution in Los Angeles for more than three decades, acknowledged in an emotional statement delivered on air Wednesday that he has inoperable lung cancer and is taking some time off work to fight the disease full time.
“I’m just taking a leave while I get radiation treatments, because it’s such a grind getting up at 3:30 every morning,” the 55-year-old Morgan, a two-pack-a-day smoker for 35 years before quitting last year, said on his KRTH-FM morning show.
The station maintained that it had asked Morgan to take the time off to help his recuperation. However, Morgan said that the tumor, while inoperable, is by no means a terminal situation. He recently underwent a chemotherapy regimen.
“Everyone tells me that the prognosis is very good,” he said, “but I sure as hell ain’t cured yet. I hope to have it in remission soon.”
Morgan, who joined KRTH as the FM oldies station’s morning personality in 1992, is the morning deejay with the longest continuous uninterrupted service in Los Angeles radio. He has not been off the air since being hired at KHJ-AM (then called “Boss Radio”) in 1965.
“One more thing,” Morgan added Wednesday. “Don’t smoke, OK?”